Missouri is celebrating its 200th birthday in 2021 and Benton County, MO has unique festivities planned throughout the towns of Cole Camp, Lincoln and Warsaw.  The theme is Show Me Benton County and will be showcasing activities from the past, present and future. This is just like Missouri’s bicentennial theme.

Lynette Stokes, Executive Director of Benton County Tourism & Recreation says, “we are excited to offer residents and tourists unique activities celebrating Missouri’s Bicentennial, but also showcasing the unique activities and history of Benton County through the years.”



Cole Camp Celebrations

Celebrations are an important part of Cole Camp’s hometown history. Because of this, they will be hosting an old-fashioned community picnic and activities for the entire family.  The purpose of this festival is to showcase Missouri’s current state symbols. Also, to celebrate the past by bringing back activities from the past.

Cole Camp’s Churches Tour and German Christmas Concert is on December 5th.

The great state of Missouri will continue to celebrate its 200th anniversary of statehood throughout the rest of this year.  Cole Camp’s Bicentennial Committee is planning one last event in Benton County on December 5th. This event will focus on the churches in our area.

History of cole camp churches

Years ago, churches were built to accommodate the growing population in small villages and farming communities all over the area. The churches have long been the hub of our great-great grandparents and their descendents’ spiritual and social lives. Families, friends, neighbors and strangers gathered on Sundays at the church of their choice to worship, give thanks and praise to God.  The church and God’s Word as it was taught to them, was their spiritual foundation. But the church was also much more.  Without a good means of communication throughout the area, going to church was the day to gather. This was for much needed camaraderie, catching up on important news, conversation with friends, share a laugh or invite someone to dinner. 

Cole Camp has been blest to have a number of churches in and out of the city limits.  With the Christmas season coming quickly upon us, the Cole Camp Bicentennial Committee decided to use this special occasion to celebrate and highlight the many churches in our community.

self-guided cole camp churches tour

If you have ever wondered what the inside of these churches look like, here is your chance to find out by participating in a self-guided tour of several of the area churches.  The church buildings will be open from 2 – 6 pm.  The Sanctuary of each church will be decorated for Christmas and church parishioners will be on site to answer any questions you might have about the church and its history.  Additionally, maps for the tour will be available at all of the participating churches.

Some of the churches that no longer have congregations will be on the tour as “drive-by” only – most in a beautiful country setting.

St Paul’s Lutheran Church at 205 W Jefferson Street will be serving a light supper of soup and sandwiches from 4 – 6 pm. Free will donations will benefit the Cole Camp Museum.  Then at 7 pm, the local German choir will present its annual concert of German Christmas music.   

Beautiful St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp – one of the stops on the churches tour

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Immanuel Lutheran Church at Brauersville

 St John’s Lutheran Church


other events

The tour is capped off in the evening with a German singing concert with traditional Christmas songs sung in German. Additionally,  Christmas story-telling done in both German and English languages.

The Cole Camp Museum offers a large collection of Civil War memorabilia. In particular, the Battle of Cole Camp, which was one of the very earliest battles fought in Missouri, during the long and bloody conflict.

Finally, you can find more information on Cole Camp’s Bicentennial and annual events by visiting

Missouri’s Bicentennial Banner and Flag

Stokes says, “We wanted to celebrate Missouri’s birthday and Benton County’s past, present, and future with unique events in the hopes that we can attract new visitors to the area and celebrate our history and heritage.  The entire community has played a unified role in coming together to celebrate Missouri’s statehood”.

We are thankful for receiving the Bicentennial banner and flag from the Missouri Historical Society.  Photographed are members from each of the three towns who have been working to put on the unique celebrations of our history.Bicentennial Volunteers for Benton County

Pictured left to right are Shelia Wilson (GeoArt), Steve Deleske (Presiding Commissioner), Dorcas Brethower (Lincoln Chamber of Commerce), Susan Kyle (Cole Camp Chamber of Commerce), Jo Ann Lane (Economic Developer), Jessi Kendall (City of Warsaw), Marsha Eaton (Benton County Historical Society), Amie Breshears (Benton County Extension Office), Lynette Stokes (Benton County Tourism & Recreation), Lindsey Decker (Lincoln Chamber of Commerce), Larry Berry (Commissioner), and John King (Mayor of Lincoln and Chamber of Commerce).  These are only a few of the people who are working hard to put on the Benton County Bicentennial festivities.

bicentennial Quilt raffle

In addition to the festivities above, the Benton County Historical Society will be raffling a bicentennial quilt showcasing Benton County features.  You can purchase tickets by contacting the museum at 660-438-2304 or visiting their website at

For information on all county-wide and bicentennial events, please go to

All events are subject to change/cancellation due to the current pandemic and social distancing requirements by the State of Missouri.